Reflective Imagery

Alligator Sunning

Alligator Sunning

Amateur sleuth, Echo, is married to a photographer who once worked for National Geographic because if I could be anything when I grow up, that’s probably what I’d be!

The idea of Hawke’s Reflections exhibit was born from photos taken by my sister at Lake Martin in Breaux Bridge.  The rich sunset described in the Fleur deKey excerpt below is a memory of a vibrant horizon, with blazing purple and reds, which I witnessed during the burning of fields at the end of sugar cane season.

Excerpt, Chapter 8 – White Linen Night

Stained Air on the Bayou

Stained Air on the Bayou

The centerpiece of Hawke LeBauve’s Reflections Exhibit displayed in a double frame on a tripod and entitled Sunset, Sunrise was not for sale. A twelve year old Hawke had raised his camera, capturing a dancing nine year old Echo in the rich sunset reflected on the muddy water of the Bayou Teche. The setting sun stained the air a red-orange-purple slush causing Victoria’s messy curls to blaze with fiery highlights – a mini explosion of ginger and silver.

Eighteen years later while Echo sat barefoot in a canoe dressed only in a peach slip with tousled hair, Hawke photographed Sunrise. Yellows and pinks colored the air surrounding her as the sun nudged its way up from the riverbank.

…..”I had difficulty choosing between the Robin in the Iris and the Flower in the Raindrop.”

Aura by Crayon or Quantum Physics

The Crayon part of my story_a REAL Life Experience: Mike and I, who are spa junkies, visited the Lodge at Woodloch in the Pokonos. Gorgeous facility. That weekend the Lodge offered some unique activities – one being a private reading by a person who could see auras. It sounded like fun, but we asked her to ‘read’ us as a couple instead of individually.  She had never been asked that before, but was intrigued and game to try.

Neither of us had ever done this before or knew what to expect. The Reader had hundreds of tiny bottles of colored water. We individually selected those that “spoke” to us as she led us through a conversation. Throughout our session, the Reader was busy making notes on paper – or so we thought. She proceeded to tell us what she saw and we were impressed with how accurate she was. At the end of the session, she handed us the paper – which was, in reality, a crayon drawing. Mike and I had become a stick she and he. A simulation of the aura reading she gave us is below.

Unusual? Yes. Memorable? Absolutely…. So much that I included the stick figure drawing in my story. Sometimes you can’t make up things better than real life.  Excerpt Fleur deKey Chapter 7 – Poppy’s Perspective…. As she steeped a tea bag, she studied the frame with Poppy’s drawing

Aura Reading

Aura Reading

How is this related to Quantum Physics?_ If you wonder whether auras really exist, excerpt from a science article:  Mind Over Matter 

A Russian scientist has been studying the human energy field and is claiming that people can change the world simply by using their own energy. While this idea is not new, not many have taken the time to scientifically go about proving such ideas – although, the field of quantum physics has shed some powerful light on the topic over the years.

We cannot see energy very easily with the human eye and thus the world of unseen energy can be difficult for the mind to grasp without scientific measurements …To help create a bridge between our physical and unseen world, scientific experiments using a technique called bioelectrophotography are being carried out. In these experiments, an assumption must be made that states the human body and consciousness is constantly emitting energy. Following this assumption, Bioelectrophotography aims to capture these energy fields seen as a light around the body. In the metaphysical world this energy emission is known as a person’s aura, while in the scientific field, it is often referred to as our energy field.

Espaliered Perspective

Espalier Form

Espalier Form

The word espalier is French, and it comes from the Italian spalliera, meaning “something to rest the shoulder (spalla) against.”

Espalier is a gardening technique practiced in gardens of Egyptian Pharaohs, middle age monks, and French kings. One of the more famous locations where espalier is displayed is at Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France


EXCERPT – chapter 7, Poppy’s Perspective

Through the screen door she spotted her grandfather tending lemon, lime and orange trees which he had trained in espalier fashion along the western fence. Mastering espalier technique involves understanding how the plant responds to pruning cuts and shape manipulation. Poppy had chosen the buds he wanted to form into branches on a two rail fence like the one in Monet’s garden, cultivating them with a patient, curative touch.

The fragrant flowers of spring had bloomed into full-size fruit along the flat planes of branch. The citrus would mature over the next several months, their green skins ripening to yellow. It is said that Monet would not have become the painter he became if he wasn’t the gardener he was. Echo believed the reverse was true for Poppy. Poppy’s healing gift extended to vitalizing plants – evidenced by the exceptionally healthy trees bearing fruit in abundance on which fungus didn’t dare intrude.


Poppy lived in the other half of their shotgun house. Their shared back yard extended their living space. Personalized areas of sanctuary created a distinctive courtyard microcosm.

At the far end of the deep but narrow lot sat a shallow out building. Separate entrances gave Hawke and Poppy their own workshops. Glass paneled doors and skylights provided plenty of natural light.

Out the door and down the steps, past the last of summer’s tomatoes and peppers growing in above-ground vegetable garden squares, she plucked a cherry tomato still damp with morning dew, popped it into her mouth and smacked her lips, savoring the flavor. Steadying her mug of tea in her left hand, she leaned down to where her grandfather knelt in the garden, giving him a one arm hug. “Good morning, Poppy.”

The moss separating the pave stones felt cool to her bare feet. Crossing the yard, she sat at the edge of a small pond. She often practiced her tai chi in this refuge spot. The hypnotizing sound of the water spray and sight of gold fish swimming between rocks and bog plants invited reflection.

Poppy tilted his head back looking up from under the brim of his worn and stained plantation straw hat. He still wore his hair in a long plait, its red now faded to a lighter strawberry color. “Mornin’ Shă. What are you musing on today?”

Are All the Fireflies Gone?

  • If you called your grandmother Maw-Maw
  • If your Maw-Maw lived almost a century but refused to grow up
  • If your grandmother is the fun one in your family
  • If you’re older than 50
  • If you stuffed grass clippings into a glass jar and chased fireflies
  • If you played cowboys and indians
  • If you dripped watermelon between your toes on a hot summer day
  • If you’re a grandparent and your grandchildren only talk with you virtually

You might enjoy my self-indulgent, exaggerated memories in a short story

Preservation Hall

CBS Sunday Morning is profiling Preservation Hall this Sunday, March 9.


Preservation Hall is a locale for a scene in Fleur deKey – although I took significant artistic license with the carriage house (doesn’t really exist).

EXCERPT from Chapter 26:     Familiar with the Hall, Hawke appreciated the stark simplicity of the shaded room they entered. A piano sat diagonally in one corner. Drums on a worn rug surrounded by mismatched empty chairs formed the Hall’s stage area. The size of the room limited the number of listeners who could sit on the long flat cushions, positioned on the floor in rows across from the performance area. Portraits of the musicians who first played the beautiful sounds of New Orleans Jazz lined the otherwise blank plaster walls.

She and Hawke sauntered out the back door of the hall into the courtyard in search of a volunteer. Eager to share his knowledge, the portly man they met in the alley way escorted them to an old carriage house beyond the courtyard and up an exterior staircase.

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